Sustainability Expert Joins University of Arkansas Research Center

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Gregory Norris, an expert in the sustainability of projects, process and capital, has joined the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Although the center is a multidisciplinary organization, it is housed in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Norris holds an 80 percent appointment as an adjunct professor with the college.

Jon Johnson, executive director of the Applied Sustainability Center, said, “Our strategy is grounded in Life Cycle Analysis, the methodology best capable of exploring and evaluating claims about the sustainability of products. Greg Norris is one of the genuine leaders of the LCA world. He has already worked with the center for several months in developing its strategy, and we are very excited to have him on our team, helping us advance the availability of valid and transparent life cycle inventory data. Greg is working on several projects that will make us central players in this very important world.” 

The center is collaborating with Wal-Mart and the center’s corporate members to help implement the use of Life Cycle Analysis quickly in the vendor community for improved sustainability efforts.

 Norris founded and directs Sylvatica, an international life cycle assessment institute which consults on Life Cycle Analysis to the United Nations, governments in the United States and abroad, a variety of Fortune 500 companies, industrial associations, and smaller companies, and the non-profit sector. Norris manages the LCA-Into-LEED process for the U.S. Green Building Council. He is Senior Fellow with GreenBlue, providing Life Cycle Analysis guidance to their sustainable packaging coalition, and through the coaltion to Wal-Mart and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Norris founded Earthster, an open source sustainable information platform, and New Earth, a global fund for community-driven sustainable development. Norris teaches Life Cycle Analysis at Harvard, and is an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an editor for the International Journal of LCA and the Journal of Industrial Ecology. He holds bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University, and a doctorate in natural resource from the University of New Hampshire.

Founded on the belief that sustainability is one of the 21st century’s biggest business challenges and opportunities, the University of Arkansas established the Applied Sustainability Center in 2007 with a $1.5 million gift from the Wal-Mart Foundation.

An interdisciplinary initiative of the Walton College, the Applied Sustainability Center works with a wide range of partners, including other University of Arkansas colleges, for the rapid development of sustainable business practices and to promote their application across the retail and consumer goods industries. Recent center initiatives include: a sustainability speaker series; training and executive education on the business benefits of sustainability; a sustainability business plan competition; a study of production and distribution of American produce; a forum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy industry; and a project to assess a product’s environmental impact by creating an open source life cycle inventory.


Jon Johnson, executive director, Applied Sustainability Center
Walton College Professor of Sustainability
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Gregory Norris, adjunct professor, Applied Sustainability Center
Sam M. Walton College of Business
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Dixie Kline, director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business


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